E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Barbarea verna (Mill.) Asch.
early winter cress (early yellowrocket)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6729)

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Distribution of Barbarea verna
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Species Information

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Biennial (rarely perennial) from a taproot and a simple stem-base; stems (20) 30-80 cm tall, stiff, erect, angled and branched.
Basal leaves pinnately lobed, long-stalked, less than 12 cm long, with 4-10 pairs of lateral lobes, terminal lobe largest, egg-shaped and entire or irregularly toothed; stalks glabrous or long, fringed-hairy; lowermost stem leaves with 2-10 pairs of lateral lobes, upper pinnately cleft with the terminal lobe the largest, often clasping the stem.
In single and terminal racemes or more often in compound, reduced racemes in lower leaf axils; flower stalks stout, more than 1 mm thick, 2-3 mm long; petals bright yellow, broadly spoon-shaped, 6-8 mm long; sepals pale yellow-green, about 2 mm long.
Erect to spreading-ascending siliques, 4.5-8 cm long, straight or nearly straight; styles 0.5-1.5 mm long, not beaklike; seeds 1-1.5 mm long, greyish-brown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; rare in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Barbarea praecox (Smith) R. Br.
Campe verna (P. Mill.) Heller
Erysimum vernum P. Mill.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References